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'COVID-19 not a joke': How Belville Melomed nurses get through tough days

Dressed in full PPE, doctors and nurses at Bellville Melomed Hospital move around the COVID-l9 ICU, nursing patients back to health.

Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - An ICU nurse at Bellville's Melomed Hospital said that she was now more at ease treating COVID-19 patients.

Sister Susanna McKenzie (61), who retired in 2018 and returned to the nursing profession in July last year, said that the disease had brought fear and anxiety to the already high-pressure working environment.

McKenzie said that faith and having passion for her job helped her get through the tough days.

Dressed in full PPE, doctors and nurses at Bellville Melomed Hospital move around the COVID-l9 ICU, nursing patients back to health.

Sister McKenzie explained that a supportive, multidisciplinary team helped ease the pressure.

"Teamwork for me was the most important thing especially for the COVID-19 patients because there you have to work as a team. As a person alone, you cannot handle this."

McKenzie's colleague, registered nurse Jipu Krishnan, said that there was enormous job satisfaction, particularly when seeing very sick COVID-19 patients pull through.

"COVID-19 is not a joke. We see a lot of COVID-19 patients struggle and it's so nice to see them walking out, especially after being on a ventilator for a week or two. When we see them walking out, we still have hope."

The hospital has made 40 beds available to treat COVID-19 patients.

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